Japanese Poetry of the Moon and Sky

I decided to put together this page, after reading many beautiful poems
of the moon and sky in a Japanese poetry book.

I should not have waited.
It would have been better
To have slept and dreamed,
Than to have watched night pass,
And this slow moon sink.

- Lady Akazome Emon

Though the purity
Of the moonlight has silenced
Both nightingale and
Cricket, the cuckoo alone
Sings all the white night.

- Anonymous

The purity of the moonlight,
Falling out of the immense sky,
Is so great that it freezes
The water touched by its rays.

- Anonymous

I go out of the darkness
Onto a road of darkness
Lit only by the far off
Moon on the edge of the mountains.

- Izumi

Someone passes,
And while I wonder
If it is he,
The midnight moon
Is covered with clouds.

- Lady Murasaki Shikibu

This is not the moon,
Nor is this the spring,
Of other springs,
And I alone
Am still the same.

- Ariwara No Narihira

I may live on
In the passing world,
Never forgetting
This midnight moon.

- The Emperor Sanjˇ

Since I left her,
Frigid as the setting moon,
There is nothing I loathe
As much as the light
Of dawn on the clouds.

- Mibu No Tadamine

When I see the first
New moon, faint in the twilight,
I think of the moth eyebrows
Of a girl I saw only once.

- Yakamochi

A wild sea-
In the distance,
Over Sado,
The Milky Way.

- Bashˇ

The cicada sings
In the rotten willow.
Antares, the fire star,
Rolls in the west.

- Anonymous

For more of these beautiful poems, go check out -
"One Hundred Poems From the Japanese" by Kenneth Rexroth.


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